Something in the air.

It’s in the air. Tonight. Today.

I’m not the only one.

Yesterday, I wrote about murky dreams. Dreams of the past. Dreams of people long forgotten. Of a time in the dim recesses of my mind.

Between online conversations and some in real life, I’ve learned that I’m not the only one. People of a certain age are going through this strange little time too. Before, we get all spooky and weird, it probably means nothing.

On the other hand.

What if?

What if we are marshalling our past resources for something to come? I’m not one who believes in all seeing third eyes, or understands why the hell WordPress doesn’t like marshalling in this usage, but something is brewing.

Since the usage of marshalling in this case, means ordering things in preparation for battle, what battle am I, are we, getting ready for?  As much as I dislike the current United States President — and, all that he stands for — and want him imprisoned, it’s not something as mundane as that. I think it’s bigger. I don’t know what it is. But, it’s coming.

As I used to say in the bad old helicopter days, “I got a bad feeling about this.” The last time I thought and felt that, a storm called Hurricane Katrina just about wiped New Orleans off the face of the earth. It’s a powerful feeling.

We’ll see.

The picture. My apologies. I went a little too far in post production. I should have reworked this picture. But, today is very, very busy. So, I moved it from my phone to OnOne and tried to make a few little repairs there. The mistakes were too imbedded for that.

Anyway.

I saw these blossoms and did the only thing that I could do. I photographed them. Then, I messed with them. I made the picture a little spooky. Then, as I wrote, I went too far. I tend to do that. I should have taken things a step or two backward. I’ll get back to it. I’ll fix it. I promise. I might even show you the revised picture.

One more thing about this bad feeling. (See how haunted I am by it?) There’s an old infantry saying, “If you can see the enemy, the enemy can see you.” The reverse is also true. I can’t see the enemy. But, I know…

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Memories and clouds.

” It’s a summer afternoon, somewhere in Kansas or Illinois or Oklahoma. The wind is blowing the leaves down the gutter as the mailman comes by. “Afternoon Mrs. Higgins, hot enough for ya?” Over on Stone County Road there’s the smell of chicken frying.

“Henry! It’s getting t’wards suppertime you know. Henry!” There she calls from her second floor room. The end of a back porch afternoon. Where we’d stand on the bow of our own man-of-war.

No longer the back porch any more. And we’d sail pulling for China. The pirates of Stone County Road. All weathered and blown. And we’d sail ever in glory. ‘Till hungry and tired.

The pirates of Stone County Road. Were turning for home. “

— 1969, John Stewart. From the album, California Bloodlines.

Once a upon a time. Long ago. I seem to be determined to go on a journey through my past. I’ve been having dreams about the past. About a 1969 El Camino with a 454 big block motor. About places that I’ve been. About people I’ve lost over the years.

This musician, John Stewart, mattered to me a lot once. After he passed I sort of forgot him. Magically, this song popped into my head this morning. So, now I’m playing the album from which it came. It’s called, “The Pirates of Stone Country Road.” The version that I like best is live, from an amazing concert back, way back in time. The live album is called, “The Phoenix Concerts.” No. Not after the desert city. After the bird who rises from the ashes.

Anyway. Enough of you are interested in my ancestor’s history that it sparked my thinking. I’ve decided to take one more shot at learning about my family history. This time I’ll do it right. I’ll spend more money on research. I won’t stop with Ancestory.com. I have nothing against them. But, they can only take me as far as I already know. We are taking this a step further. A lot of steps further. A trip is in the very basic planning stages. My little town – Horodok — is in sort of located in an odd place. Even though it’s a Belorussian place, it’s actually located in Ukraine. The closest big city is located in Poland. The legend of this region is that you could live there, go to sleep in one country and wake up in another. That’s just how fast the borders changed, especially pre-1910.

I have a question for you. This could cost some serious money. I see a lot of pictures coming out of this. I see the possibility of a book. (Finally, I think that  have a project in mind that is worthy of a book.)  I advised a friend of mine to create a GoFundMe site, as I did once, to fund her gallery shows. I think these projects are self-contained and somewhat worthy.

I’ve watched GoFundMe deteriorate to the point where I watched a photographer ask for funding for a new camera. WTH? That’s a business expense. Get out of the industry if you can’t pay for your tools. I’ve watched two people ask for funding to pay for their vacations. WTH? Stay home if you can’t afford to travel for pleasure. And, the last came from a person who wants better seats at a concert. WTH?  I’m a fairly generous guy, but really, really and really?

You know where this is going. I think. I’d like your advice. Should I create a GoFunding page for this project? Or, am I over reaching just like the examples that I’ve cited? Oh, don’t feel compelled to contribute just because you think it’s a good idea. I just want your opinions.


 

Along the Continental Divide.
Along the Continental Divide.

A little more Route 66.

You seem to like this collection. I’ll keep going a little bit. I like these pictures too. I haven’t really looked at them for a long time. Luckily, these images are easily accessible in my archives. On second thought. Luck had nothing to do with accessibility. That’s just management. DAM. Digital Asset Management.

So.

The pictures.

The top one is fairly personal. When I was a young child growing up in Southern California, my parents liked traveling to the Southwest. We used to drive all night. Sometime during the very early morning we arrived at the Continental Divide. We knew we were there. The Southwest. I did a little journey through my past a while back. The coffee was as bad as my mom said it was.

Aztec Motel. It was one of those old motor courts. After it started falling into disrepair, it became sort of a home for artistic people. I have no idea what the rent was. Folks lived there very long-term. They made it their own.  It was torn down in 2011, after the owner said it would cost a million dollars to restore. The sign came down in 2015. The city says it will be renovated and installed in a pocket park. They have applied for a Federal grant. The owner sold the property for — get this – a million dollars.

And, so it goes.

There is a lesson to be learned from this. It’s as Neil Young wrote, rust never sleeps. Never pass an opportunity by thinking that you’ll come back to it later. You won’t. Even if you do. What you saw may not be there.

Aztec Motel
Aztec Motel


Walking along the path near Waldenburg Park.
Walking along the path near Waldenburg Park.

I’ll tell you about this picture in a few sentences or so. But, first, it’s a sad night in Louisiana. “Blue Dog” artist George Rodrigue passed tonight. Love the “Blue Dog” or hate it, Rodrigue contributed quite a lot to Louisiana art and to New Orleans. He supported all kinds of arts in the schools and was very instrumental in helping artists whose work was destroyed after both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Sometimes, art that is commercial and maybe even thought of as sort of cliché, tacky and low brow really pays the bills. Lots of bills. For a lot of people. On the other hand, that little blue dog makes me smile. Not my kind of art, but still it makes me smile. RIP George.

I’m not really comfortable publishing his work. But, you can go to http-::georgerodrigue.com:

Back to my pictures.

While I was scouting for yesterday’s picture of Jackson Square I walked around in the area that is near the Washington Artillery Park, which is located directly across from Jackson Square, across Decatur Street and near the river. The actual pathway in this picture leads to the moonwalk. Oh, never mind. This is New Orleans. Sometimes things have strange names. I happened upon a couple crossing the pathway. So, I pointed and shot. No real time for framing. No real time for reading light. Nothing. This is the result. Very little post production. Most of the work was done live. On site.

I call it, “Walking to Christmas.”


When I lived in New Mexico, I used to make a lot of pictures on Route 66. It was an easy “go to.” After all, old Route 66 runs east, west, north and south in Albuquerque. Yes. It’s true. The pre-1937 Route 66 comes down From santa Fe in the north and can be traced down to Los Lunas in the south where it turns left on the map and heads west. After 1937, Route 66 was made a little more direct east-west highway, and ran along what is now Central Avenue. That’s the short story. There’s a lot more.

These pictures were made for a piece of a book project and were made from Albuquerque, west to Seligman, Arizona. As they say, all art is about the maker. Although these pictures might not look it, they are personal to me. They bring back memories of my childhood when my parents liked to travel to The Southwest on vacations and holidays. Some of the landmarks from my childhood are still landmarks for me today. Some are gone. Some are changed. Sort of like life, eh?